Pentax has been really busy this last year. First they celebrated the legacy of their K-series cameras with the K100 and K110 dSLRs, then they unleashed the powerful K10D, now they have unveiled a new line of high performance lenses called the smc Pentax-DA* series. The line debuts with two lenses: the DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL[IF]SDM and the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 ED[IF]SDM. Pentax won't say what the SDM stands for, but the press release does say that the lenses include a supersonic motor. The samples we saw at the PMA 2007 trade show this week focused quickly and quietly, much like the high-end supersonic-motor-driven lenses we've seen from some other manufacturers.
Much like the water- and dust-resistant K10D, Pentax's new DA* lenses are weather sealed for extra durability. They also include a switch on the lens, to let you quickly toggle between autofocus and manual focus modes.
Pentax plans to begin shipping both lenses this spring. The DA* 16-50mm lens is expected to sell for about $900, while the DA* 50-135mm lens should sell for about $1000.